Elinor Stutz is October’s Contributor Spotlight! Each month, SalesPOP! interviews one of our top contributors, giving readers a peek into the mind of experts in the sales industry. Stutz has had a long relationship with SalesPOP!, sharing her insights as one of the “65 Business Women Influencers.”
Her SalesPOP! Contributions include numerous blog articles such as Do You PRactice Buying to Improve Sales?, Do You Ask These Three Sales Questions?, Create Your Artistic Sales Process, Using Win-Loss Analysis to Win-Win Every Time, and more. She has also made appearances on an episode of #SalesChats, where she discussed Perseverance in Sales: Never Give Up, Find a Better Way!
With a mission to inspire, teach, and motivate salespeople to convert their biggest vision and inherent talent into leadership, Stutz’ motto is, “Believe, Become, Empower.” Check out her interview below.
1. You’ve achieved a lot of success with your blog. How do you decide what topics to feature and write about?
When we are in the company of others, our communication style either encourages or discourages further interaction similar to making a sale. It is the everyday experiences that have me recognizing topics to explore. I will observe the seller’s interaction with me. Whether I applaud the effort or am upset by it, there are lessons to learn and ideas to share.
For example, I had an eye examination. The eye doctor is excellent, but he chose to continually ask, “Wouldn’t you like a new pair of glasses?” In an hour, he asked the same question seven times. The repeated ask for a sale was very annoying. The experience was the perfect example of what not to do!
Communications on social media may catch my attention that prompt a related business idea. Other times conversations with friends will do the same. My perspective is that almost everything we do can apply to all business. There is a wealth of information waiting to be written.
2. In addition to your blog, you’re also a bestselling author. Which do you prefer writing: blogs or books?
There is little to match the excitement of having your first book published. And the icing on the cake is when the book receives noteworthy publicity. But this is not a simple answer as many factors go into consideration.
What most do not realize is the dedication required to write the book. It takes months to complete the manuscript. Many authors, including me, tend to second guess ourselves as to whether some or all of the information will be well-received. Only time will tell.
The publishing house is your prospective client; authors have to address their needs, wants and desires. Time and money can be burdensome. Motivated authors seek ways to increase the odds of a publishing house picking up their manuscript. Professional editing and a creative cover help significantly before presenting. The fees can add up to thousands of dollars.
Also akin to sales come the detractors of ‘no’ or less than desirable comments from ‘friends.’ The negativity can dissuade one from proceeding. Ultimately, when one sets daily writing goals and achieves them, nothing beats the ecstasy felt upon completing a book and having a publisher say ‘Yes!’
On the other hand, writing a blog is comparatively quick, less stressful, and requires little funding. The enjoyment of writing a blog stems from people letting me know of the help it provides. The author owns the blog, maintains control, and can share it worldwide via social media.
My original mission was to help those following in my footsteps and be a welcome resource. The many blog registrants, frequent sharing, inquiries about guest blogs, being picked up by credible sources, and the laudatory personal notes, all let me know the topics are on target and needed. The reward is in the communications from people around the world who read the blog.
3. Tell us a little about your experience writing for SalesPOP!
The experience of working with SalesPop! is excellent in all regards. From my vantage point, help with marketing and visibility are always needed and appreciated. But it is the professionalism of the staff that counts most in addition to the ease of working together.
4. What has your experience been as a woman in sales?
One could refer to my work experiences as a woman in sales to have been a first-class Nightmare!
Being the pioneer sole saleswoman on all male sales teams, and having to cope with the all-male management biases, provided a lifetime of lessons to embrace.
In the end, I was the person who won in many regards.
I walked away stronger as I became aware of my personal brand due to standing up for what I believed to be right. In spite of continually being told in-house that I was doing everything incorrectly, It was my clientele that let me know I was on the right track. Clients gave me the tagline, “A breath of fresh air.”
Proudly, without being permitted training upfront, I had my clientele provide individualized training. Accordingly, I was always at the top of the sales scoreboard.
Regarding the gender equality gap and the #SpeakUp movement today, the best example was that of having to sign a company agreement for a new earnings arrangement. There was no wiggle room, and authorization of the contract was a priority on the day of my one-to-one meeting with the manager.
Being the top sales producer at the office, and the only one who was bringing Fortune 100 and 500 companies in as clients, I was seething with anger upon seeing what I was about to be paid. The amount was equivalent to selling newspapers door-to-door. But then, I suddenly, burst into laughter and couldn’t stop!
The manager grew beet red and demanded I sign the agreement. I responded by pointing out it was April 1st, known as ‘April Fool’s Day.’ I firmly suggested we wait until April 2, and that he meanwhile re-think the arrangement. I got up and walked out as he continued to yell at me to sign my name on the dotted line.
The next day, the Director of Sales stopped me in the hall and invited me into his office. He proposed doubling the initial offer. It should have been tripled, but I accepted recognizing it was time to look for the next job.
If the description of life as the lone saleswoman above caught your attention, please visit my contributor page. https://salespop.net/author/elinor-stutz/ You will read other similar experiences about me versus the male establishment and how I spoke up for what is right.
5. Which of your accomplishments are the most important to you, and why?
After all the ugliness that took place in my sales career, it was astonishing when Kred announced that I am a Top 1% Influencer. It is also heartwarming knowing that RiseBoarders consistently rates me as a Top Sales Guru.
Social media helped me conquer much that was troubling. I was always put down for my original ideas and taking risks. The moment the medium was announced, I saw the magic in it for sales. Instead of the old world style of knocking on doors in a territory, one can now put out their best insights to attract interested clientele. Social media pre-qualifies candidates.
The second benefit is my love of travel. The medium enabled me to connect with people from all over the world. Given my meager beginnings, it’s almost alarming to witness the people and prominent organizations that request permission to connect with me.
My mission has always been to fight for equality. Today, I feel as if I broke through the proverbial Glass Ceiling. My tagline is, “Breaking Barriers.”
Do you have one piece of advice for SalesPOP! readers?
Upon reviewing my journey, I became philosophical about ‘never give up!’:
“Tomorrow is a blank canvas, begin painting your vision today.”
“The worst negativity hurled at you is a signal that you are onto something special.”
“The best sales strategies are truth and integrity.”
“Trust is the Soul of Sales.”
“At the end of the dark tunnel comes a very bright light!”